The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up challenges in managing work health and wellbeing, with workplaces having to re-assess the way they work, identify the emerging risks and address these risks for their workers and others entering the workplace.
Work health and wellbeing requires a specific focus for those still at their usual workplace and also for those working from home.A nutritious diet, regular physical activity and not drinking too much alcohol will help manage stress and support healthy immune systems.
While there are many online resources to help achieve work health and wellbeing, some are particularly suitable for those living in rural, regional and remote areas.
Growcom has launched https://www.eatyourselftohealth.com.au/campaign. If you find you have more time to visit local farmer's markets, get creative and prepare meals, there are a range of easy recipes for all tastes at https://www.healthier.qld.gov.au/guide/ which also has exercises and workouts to do as a group or individually, and a useful guide on staying healthy at home. There are tips on working from home, looking after your mental wellbeing, gardening and fun activities to keep young and old entertained.
The 1000 steps program gives participants a personal dashboard where they set their daily goal, track their progress, participate in monthly challenges and connect with friends, family and workmates. If they prefer kayaking, running, gym workouts or other activities, the same effort can be converted to steps. To get staff motivated, check out https://www.10000steps.org.au/articles/covid-19/.
Working from home can involve prolonged sitting, which comes with the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and muscular discomfort. With that in mind, http://www.beupstanding.com.au/ is a FREE workplace health initiative that can be run with remote teams and involves participants recording improvements in their physical and mental health, energy levels and musculoskeletal pain symptoms. There are tips for setting up a home workstation, sitting less and general health information.
People who smoke are generally at higher risk of respiratory tract infections (which can affect the sinuses, throat, airways or lungs), but there is currently not enough evidence to be certain that people who smoke are at higher risk of being infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
However, people with poor lung function (as a result of smoking or other health issues) may be at a higher risk of complications if they do become infected with the virus. It is not clear how long a person needs to stop smoking to reduce their risk of these complications but quitting smoking has many benefits beyond any link with COVID-19, so it's always a good time to quit. Call Quitline on 137848 or visit https://quithq.initiatives.qld.gov.au/covid-19-and-smoking/
For more information on creating a healthy and safe workplace, visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/health-wellbeing